Gard, Robert E

About the author

Robert E Gard (1910–92) had a distinguished academic career. He was educated at the Universities of Kansas and Cornell, and taught play writing at both these universities. He became a fellow of the Rockerfeller Foundation, founded the Alberta Folklore and Local History Project, and in 1945, joined the University of Wisconsin. There he founded the Wisconsin Idea Foundation, which was “a cultural program for the whole state”. Whilst at Wisconsin, he specialised in the theatre arts and creative writing. His academic career was stellar; he was elected as a Fulbright Research Scholar to Finland in 1959, and was sent to Britain by the Rockefeller Foundation to look at the grassroots arts there.

Amongst his many works were several horse books for children. From this it would appear he had a keen interest in the horse and the culture of the West.

Finding the books
Midnight, Devil Red and Run to Kansas are easy to find; A Horse Named Joe and Scotty’s Mare tend to be expensive. None of these titles were published in the UK.

Links and sources
Terri A. Wear: Horse Stories, an Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press, 1987
National Library of Congress
The Gard Foundation

Bibliography (horse books only)

Midnight, Rodeo Champion

Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1951, 159 pp, illus C W Anderson

Sandy feels guilty because he’s turned his ranch horse Midnight into a rodeo bucker, but the horse does very well and becomes famous, and Sandy feels he can’t quit rodeo riding just yet.

A Horse Named Joe

Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1956, 237 pp, illus C W Anderson

Sammy works with his horse Joe, and tries to stay away from public view. He has spent time in jail (although he was innocent). However, he will have to face the public now that he has agreed to help Jean win a five hundred mile horse race.

Scotty’s Mare

Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York, 1957, 152 pp, illus Aaron Bohrod

Scotty trades in his heifer for a thin bay mare; a trade which doesn’t impress his father at all.
However, Scotty believes in the mare, a little Thoroughbred they call Trip, and so does his mother.

Run to Kansas

Duell, Sloan And Pearce, New York, 1958, 143 pp, illus Alan Moyler

After a fight at the mill, which Tom didn’t want to take part in, his parents press him to leave and go west. He does leave, riding West on his plough horse Meg, but Tom’s enemy Griff follows him to Kansas.

Devil Red

Duell, Sloan And Pearce, New York, 1963, 121 pp

It was a red horse which killed Paul’s friend Joe in a rodeo bucking contest, and Paul wants to kill the horse which killed his friend. He cannot do it though, when he comes face to face with the fear in the horse’s eyes.